Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I am in Denial

I had to go out and buy some new storage bins for my stuff. Not just regular stuff. Art and Craft stuff. Unfortunately, the bins are getting larger and larger. Pretty soon, I will be buried under an avalanche of clear Rubbermaid Storage Bins.

Yesterday's excursion dealt with paper scraps. I have two large (kitchen sized) trash cans next to my paper cutter. One trash can is for paper and card stock remnants and the other is for binder board/Davey board cutoffs. When the trash can becomes full, I dump out the contents and separate them into usable pieces and pieces to throw away.

The rule for the Davey board is 1" wide. Anything less that 1" wide gets thrown away. The rest goes into a storage bin for later use. For paper and card stock, the rule is 9 square inches (3 x 3 or its equivalent). Anything smaller gets thrown away. I could actually used small pieces but I had to draw the line somewhere. The pieces that I keep are then stored in separate bins--one for paper and one for card stock.

The problem is that the scraps are multiplying on their own. They keep growing and growing and pretty soon they will be taking over the studio. If for some reason I haven't posted a blog entry within a week's time, send in the cavalry because the paper and card stock tribes have taken over.

I started with a small shoe box (6 qt). I then moved them to a sweater box (16 qt). Yesterday, I had to go out and buy the tote sized box (35 qt). The only size left is the large tote with wheels (135 qt). If they reach that level, they will have to start paying partial rent.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mr. Nice Guy

I saw an ad on Craigslist for some old Bingo cards. I was a little intrigued and decided to inquire regarding the cards. I received a call from a priest who said that he had a box of old Bingo cards that he wanted to sell. Being the holiday season and being that this was a Catholic church, I decided to buy the cards since it was going to help out the church.

I didn’t ask for dimensions or pictures or anything else. We just agreed that I would buy the lot for $50 and I would throw in an extra $25 if the priest would deliver them to me.

I don’t know what I was expecting but this is what I received. Three hundred Bingo cards like those pictured above. They are an odd size. I don’t ever remember Bingo cards looking like these. I remember the dark green ones with the little red sliding windows or the cardboard cards that you would daub with one of those Bingo markers.

So the big question comes—what to do with them? They are 4 7/8” wide by 10 ½” tall and a thickness of 1/8”. The top of the card to the bottom of the first grid is 5” long. From the top of the letters that says the name of the church to the bottom of the card is 5 1/8” long. So theoretically I could get two 4 7/8” by 5” cards—one would say Bingo and the second would say the name of the church.

Just thinking out loud. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution this year is to be more creative. I have taken a giant step of faith in my ability to do so by cancelling my cable. Yep, that’s right. I no longer have cable/TV access.

I realized that I was spending more time watching TV when I could have been designing and being creative. I have so many unfinished projects and so many projects waiting to be done that I decided that this was the year that I would complete the projects and sign up for more swap-bot swaps.

I did renew my Netflix subscription so I can still watch movies when I want. In so doing, I am still saving about $120 a month by cancelling my cable subscription. When did watching TV get so expensive?

I will miss some of my favorite shows though. Top Chef, the new season (or not) of Project Runway, HGTV and Food Network. Oh well, maybe I will be able to follow them on the computer.

In the meantime, I will continue to teach myself Japanese with Rosetta Stone when I start jonesing for the television.

I think that I am already going through withdrawals and it is only the first half-day. Hopefully, I will get used to it. I will miss the Fox Soccer Network though. Maybe I can stay late at work and watch TV there! Just sayin . . .

Friday, December 26, 2008

Grown-Up Magnets

So, I was bored on Christmas Day. I decided to see what I had on hand to craft with. I remembered seeing some magnets and pins from etsy sellers (see here). I already had a button maker (although a large button--2 1/4) and decided to recycle some old magazines that I had. I had been collecting some Men's Health and Men's Fitness magazines for a large scale collage that I am working on. I decided to recycle some of the unused pages for this project.

Cutting out the circles was a little bit more difficult than I had anticpated. I have a circle cutter that I eventually used but I wanted to use a paper punch. All of my paper punches were the wrong size. If I continue to make these, I will order the circle cutter from the company that makes the button making kit.

All in all, I liked the way that these turned out. I took the pin mechanism off the back of the button. I then glued a magnet that I had lying around and voila--a grown up magnet. I don't think that I would mind having some of these on my refrigerator door.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Greetings on Christmas Day.

Last night's Drive-By Caroling was a blast and we brought the Christmas Cheer to many people who were travelling or who had to work. We returned to NYC at 6:00 am. Unfortunately, some of my friends have to work tonight because some of the Broadway shows are having a Christmas evening performance.

When I woke up, I decided to open my Christmas presents. Other than the presents that I bought myself, I received three gifts this year. One was the traditional Swiss Colony type of care package that I get every year from my Dad. I had already opened it since it has to be refrigerated. Another gift was sent to me by my friend who sells me my supply of Stampin Up products. She sent a really nice set of pretzel and chocolate munchies. So, the only gift that I had to open was from my friends in Frostburg MD.

I didn't know what to expect since it was a gift that I really wasn't expecting. I felt like a kid at Christmas. I wanted to open it at the post office but decided that I would save it and open it on Christmas morning. I am so glad that I did.

The box was from Zabars--one of those fancy gourmet food stores in New York City (I guess not only in NYC though). The ideas ran through my mind. You know--high end type of products, e.g. caviar, star fruit, Parmesan bread sticks, etc. I am really not into those type of foods but it was nice to be remembered on Christmas Day. I am always a grateful recipient. I was sure that I would enjoy whatever was sent to me.

So imagine my WONDERFUL surprise when I finally opened up my gift. Apparently, Santa had been reading my blog and sent me some of my favorite things: Bean dip, Pace picante sauce, Fritos and Skittles (since Santa knows everything).

I cried. You see, the most perfect gift isn't the most expensive. It isn't the gift from the most expensive store with the fancy label. The most perfect gift is the item that was sent with love and with thought.

Thank you Santa. Not only for my present but for such dear friends who can make a holiday a seem little less alone.

I am truly blessed during this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Good Deed for the Day

I was reading some of my favorite blogs (thank you Google reader) and read of a new interest that one of the authors had recently developed. As I read the blog, I realized that I had a book sitting on my shelves that this person would probably enjoy. Since I haven't continued with the craft that the book was dealing with, I decided to send the book to the blog's author as a surprise holiday present.

It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions as I was getting ready to head into work this morning. I didn't have time to wrap the book. I simply threw it into my bag, tossed in a handmade greeting card that I had in my stash, and jumped on the subway.

The project had a lot of good karma floating around. I got to the post office expecting mass chaos and there were no lines. The padded envelope fit the book perfectly. The attendant at the post office wasn't harried and we exchanged pleasantries.

So, it started off a good day today. Tonight, some of my friends and I will go and do "Drive by Carolling." Many of my friends have the night off tomorrow from performing in their Broadway shows or they are in between shows at the moment. Every year, we get together at about 10 pm and jump into a van. We drive along a major highway--either north or south (decided by a flip of a coin). We stop at any establishment that is open overnight or 24 hours (truck stops, restaurants, gas stations, etc.) and sing Christmas carols to the employees and guests.

I used to work in retail and it always sucked to have to work on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This is our way of making working on such a glorious night/day sting a little less.

Here's wishing you and yours a glorious holiday season.

Best wishes--russ aka Dr. Russ

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blog Quiz

The following exercise is floating in the blogosphere (especially on the creative blogs). In the spirit of the season, I have decided to play.

Here's the rule: Bold the things you've done & post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog--started three different ones, this is the only one to last
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band--performed at Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Pasadena Texas
4. Visited Hawaii-- while in the military
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland--in US and Tokyo
8. Climbed a mountain -- Climbed Mt. Fuji when I was living in Japan
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo -- undergraduate degree was in Vocal Music Performance
11. Bungee jumped--in Australia
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea--while in the Navy
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch--Print Gocco
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty--I live in New York City, of course
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping --alone and hoped to get caught by didn't
27. Run a Marathon--Chicago 1995, 5 hours, 25 minutes and 35 seconds
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise--used to perform for Carnival Cruise Lines
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language--learning Japanese via Rosetta Stone
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China--while in the military
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia--while in the military
60. Served at a soup kitchen -- every Thanksgiving in NYC
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma--used to but can't anymore
65. Gone sky diving--in the military
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter--in the military and civilian lives
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial--big history buff and love DC
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square--see #17 above
74. Toured the Everglades--aways vacation in Florida, love Key West
75. Been fired from a job--used to work at Fudruckers but got the f and r mixed up while answering the phone and got fired that day.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car--a new pick up truck
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House--see #70 above
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life--used to be a lifeguard
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous--work in the entertainment industry now
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person--lived in Texas and LOVE San Antonio
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee and highly allergic to them

Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 Year of the Ox

On January 1 in Japan, postmen deliver stacks of specially postmarked, beautiful postcards with greetings for the new year. They are called 'nengajo' in Japanese and families spend lots of creative energy to make or purchase postcards that reflect their style. Japan Post even sells preprinted nengajo with special lottery stamps! For those of you who own a Print Gocco, one of the original purposes of the PG was for families to print their own nengajo.

Here is my design for this year. I used 140 lb Arches cold pressed watercolor paper. I then pasted the Japanese tissue on one side. I then Gocco-ed "Year of the Ox" in dark purple (from the tube). After drying, I superimposed the ox/buffalo/bull outline in dark blue (from the tube).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Final Holiday Card

Front of card

Inside of card
This is the final card of the 2008 Holiday season. It has been a fun holiday year. Now, I have to start working on the 2009 Valentine season. I also have to finish some gifts that others have ordered. All of this and dental work to boot. I had a root canal immediately after I delivered the above cards. Also, it is snowing in New York City and it is sticking to the ground. It's beginning to look alot like Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Holiday Card

Front of card
Inside of card
This is one of my last holiday cards this season. As soon as I finish the last cards, I can concentrate on finishing some holiday decorative boxes that I have promised for Christmas Eve. Where have all of the days gone? Christmas is one week away. Wow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Couldn't Believe It

I have been selling at craft fairs lately. Most of these are invited and juried craft fairs. In other words, you have to provide samples of your work to be evaluated and a panel chooses those vendors that it will send invitations to show their work. For most of these events, there are a maximum of two vendors who sell the same type of work.

As I walked around the venue, I would notice some beautiful and expensive work. There are always few people who work in paper arts—at least, there are few people who work on the small level that I do. There are large paper sculptors and plenty of collage works.

What annoys me is that fact that people will actually try and barter a price with me for my items. I think too many people have been watching Bargain Hunt or HGTV. Most of my items sell for $50 to $100 for a stationery set or a decorative box. Many of my handmade cards sell for under $10. My journals sell for $15 to $40.

I had one person who offered me $3 for a $10 single issue card. I had another person offer me $7.50 for a $25 journal. I couldn’t believe it. If it was a church craft fair, maybe I could understand. But, these are juried events.

Has anyone else run into these problems?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, What to Do Response

Several people have asked me what I decided to do about people and their last minute requests for products after I forewarned them that orders would be closed on November 30.

For two of my clients, I convinced them that they could do a Happy New Year card instead. The biggest problem was that both of them wanted Hanukkak cards which place an even greater deadline.

The other client was told that I would do her order (and was charged double as was suggested by someone else) but her order would be placed last on the priority list. I am in the process of simplifying her card design so that we can send out the cards in time for domestic Christmas delivery. For this client, I am personalizing and mailing the cards for her so this makes it easier for me to process her order.

I am still taking single card orders as we speak for those people who want a handmade card that is different from cards that can be bought at the store. I will have all orders finished by Friday and I have one more craft fair to do on Sunday and I will be done for this holiday season.

For the craft fair on Sunday, I have enough inventory that I don't have to make anything new. I am afraid that I will have some leftover product that I will probably have to carry over until next year. Not an ideal situation but something that I can live with.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Holiday Cards

Front of card

Interior of Card

As promised, I am posting more of my holiday cards. These are my personal cards that I send. They are stained glass cards. You can open the card and place a votive candle (in a candle holder) behind the opened card and it looks like stained glass. This is the second in a series of The Twelve Days of Christmas. The image is a hand tinted vellum.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spreading Good Cheer

Inspired by Jodi, I have decided to donate the unused Christmas cards that so offended a client. I have attached the image and the new salutation below. If you know someone who would appreciate a religious based Christmas card, please forward their snail mail address to me at I will write a personal note to them and, if you choose, will include an attribution to the requester (e.g., sent at the request of xxx).

So, if you know someone that loves Christmas cards, know a shut in or someone alone who doesn't have family, please forward their names to me. If you want to receive a handmade Christmas card yourself that is fine too. I will obviously pay for postage. This will be for the first 50 requests since that is the number of cards that was made for this client.

Feel free to forward this blog entry to people who might be interested.

Best wishes--russ

Unfolded Card--front and back

Insert on white paper

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh, What a Day

Have you ever had a cursed project? Some projects just start off on a bad note and seem to get worse as they go along. Glue doesn’t dry fast enough. Smudges on the piece. Smeared ink. Today was one of those days for me and I did something that I have never done before—I refused to sell a project to a buyer.

I have been in the service industry since I was 15. I have always worked for others or have worked at the whims of others. I have catered for brides. I have sewn and beaded wedding dresses. I have performed for countless audiences. Nothing prepared me for what I faced today.

My client ordered a series of 50 personalized greeting cards. The cards were to be screen printed with my Gocco printer. After initially meeting with the client, we designed a religion based card that would feature a modern take on a Madonna and Child. The words “Unto us, a Child is born.” The salutation would be printed on the inside and the names would appear as well.

I email the proofs of three different examples to the client and she chose one. I did a mock up for the client to view and emailed a PDF of the scanned card. Of course, this wasn’t going to be sufficient—she had to see it in person. RED FLAG ONE. No problem. We scheduled a meeting for drinks (my treat) to discuss the mock up. When she sees the mock up, she notices that the names were misspelled. Of course, she blames me. I smile, show her the original order sheet, her listing of the names, and her initials that indicate that this was indeed what she wanted. I also indicated that she had the chance to fix it when I emailed the three original proofs.

No problem. Easy fix. Although wasting two Gocco bulbs and one screen ticked me off but still OK. So, we finalized the project. She initialed the changes. I asked her if she wanted to see the corrections before I massed produced the cards. “No. I trust you.” RED FLAG TWO.

Today, three and one half weeks after our initial meeting, we decide to meet after work for drinks AGAIN. I was excited to be done with the project and to get her out of my non-existent hair. We sit down, order drinks, and she starts to look at the cards. Immediately, she starts placing them in two stacks.

“What are you doing,” I ask.
“I like these but there are problems with these.”
“Really? Like what.”
“This one has a spot on it. This one doesn’t seem even. This one looks different.”
“Well, there are going to be some minor variations in the ink. That is the nature of handmade screen printed items.”
“Well, I’m only going to pay for the ones that I like.”
“Actually, the invoice says 50 cards and that is what you are going to be charged. By the way, this isn’t the Walgreens Photo Department. You can’t just take the ones you like.”
“That’s not fair.”

I collect the cards. Take out my wallet and refund her 50 % deposit. As I leave the table, she incredulously calls out, “What am I going to do about my Christmas cards?” I say, “Go to Walgreens. You can pick and chose the cards that you want. Thanks for the drink. Have a Happy Holiday.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Holiday Projects

This is another gift that I am selling at craft fairs. This is the prototype (you can see the small tear in the binding along the spine). This is a stationery box that is hand covered in faux leather with a velvet liner. The set comes with 20 Fabriano notecards and envelopes. Retail cost= $50

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Projects

As I have mentioned previously, I have been extremely busy preparing for my clients and the craft shows. Because of this, I have been lax in my blogging responsibilities. This year is my busiest year yet due to my returning clients and new clients that I have added through my various endeavors. Here are two examples of the items that I am selling at the current craft fairs: New York City postcards and gift tags.

I had always seen gift tags for Christmas but never had seen them for Hanukkah. I figured if there was an ideal number of pieces to a set it would have to be a Hanukkah set (sets of eight). The Christmas tags are in sets of ten.

The New York City postcards are a series of NYC landmarks that I am developing. I love the juxtaposition of graphics over text and this is my first attempt of mixing the two. The next series will be a solid image over an opaque text of New York City.

I have always struggled with pricing my items and it still haunts me. I am told that I always underprice my items and that I don't include the cost of my labor when I consider pricing items. I always have to keep in mind my price point especially when I start selling to brick and mortar stores. Right now, I am selling the Hanukkah gift tags for $7, the Christmas gift tags for $8, and the postcards for $2 each or 5 for $8.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paper Fridays--Blue Drawer

Cherry Blossums

Popular Children's Day Paper

Another Popular Children's Day Paper

Popular Kimono Design Based Paper

My most often used Blue Paper design.
This is one of my favorites.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh, What to Do?

For those people that know me, I am all about deadlines. I have created deadlines all of my life because I tend to overextend myself and it is the easiest way for me to stay focused and organized. Having deadlines doesn’t mean that I still don’t procrastinate or that I am not up late at night before a project is due. Sometimes, I don’t get a creative impetus until I know that something is due.

Because I use deadlines, I am tethered to my calendar and its electronic versions. I am always syncing my Treo with my laptop, office desktop and home desktop. I have even put automatic reminders in my calendar to remind me to eat breakfast and lunch.

This holiday season, I have scheduled out most of my weeks so that I can meet all of my commitments to my clients, my office and craft fairs. Because of the overwhelming number of holiday orders, I had to stop taking orders on November 30. I sent out reminders to everyone on two separate occasions: the first week of November and just before Thanksgiving. I explained that even though many people weren’t thinking about Christmas yet I needed to gauge interest in handmade items for the holidays so I could allocate my time.

Well, unfortunately, several previous clients did not heed to my call. Now, they are crying for help and last minute requests. Oh, what to do!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Paper Fridays--Animal Prints





All fakes, of course!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Postcards

Here are my choices for cards that are representative of my city. The Statue of Liberty has always been a special landmark for me. I still get emotional when I see it or when I take first time visitors to NYC. I used to assist with the Ellis Island Oral History Project when I was researching immigration issues during my college days. It was so exciting talking to people who emmigrated to the US and their takes on the United States and especially their take on the Statue of Liberty.

So, for my representative postcards, I chose pictures of the Statue of Liberty.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You have been challenged

As I have detailed on several posts on this website thingy, I am a member of swap-bot. This is all linked to my first Gocco swap where Lisa (the coordinator) recommended that I check out swap-bot because of the positive experience I had with the Gocco postcard swap.

Of all of the categories of swap-bot that interested me, I was drawn to the postcard and note card swaps. I especially became interested in the handmade versions of these swaps. While I was researching the different aspects of the postcard swaps, I fell upon an article detailing a new website: is a website dedicated to those people who love to swap postcards. You can swap domestically or internationally. I decided—what the heck, why not? As my compulsive nature took over, I can’t seem to get my postcards out soon enough. I anxiously wait for someone to receive one of my postcards so I can immediately request another address.

People seem to love to receive postcards from New York City and I never know what to send. So here is my challenge to you:

If you had to send a postcard that represents your city, town, region, location, country, etc. what would it be? Go out and find a representative postcard (preferably 4” x 6” which is the standard small card), scan it to your blog and link to this original posting. In your blog entry for that day, describe why you chose the card that you did.

Secondly, if you have to send a postcard that represents YOU, what would it be? As above, go out and find it, scan it to your blog and explain.

These cards can be handmade or store bought. Your choice. If you know someone who would enjoy this exercise, forward this blog post to them. If you want to angel (host) someone else’s choices, do that as well. Let’s all be creative and come up with something special.

The gauntlet has been thrown down.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It was so simple then . . .

It was supposed to be a simple swap. All I had to do was take three rubber stamps and make four impressions of each stamp. I was supposed to do this for two separate people. All in all, I had to make 24 stamped images to send. It looked so easy on paper. In reality, it was stamper’s hell.

The first problem was that I had to choose the stamps. I thought that I had a lot of stamps to choose from. In reality, unless I have misplaced some of my stamps (which could have happened in the moving of the studio), I only had a few Christmas stamps to choose from. The stamped image was supposed to take up the majority of a 4” by 5” piece of white cardstock. So, I finally chose three stamps.

The second problem was the inking of the stamps. So, of all of the ink pads in my possession (I have a complete set of all Stampin Up craft ink pads and many of the Color Box ink pads), the swap required that the images be stamped in black ink. Of course, the three Black ink pads in my possession all required re-inking. And naturally, I had no black pigment ink to re-ink the pads. A trip to three stores (who happened to be open on Sunday) solved this particular dilemma.

The third problem was the actually stamping. I never realized how difficult it is to get 8 solid and good impressions of a single image. Some were smudged, some were too dark, some were too light and finally some turned out just right. After 53 attempts to get 24 stamped images, I called it quits.

And finally, the second guessing started. Did I choose the right stamps? Will my partner like the images that I chose? What happens if my partner has the same stamps that I do? What if they aren’t good enough? I worried so much that I ended up eating some ice cream to calm myself.

Actually, I was looking for a good excuse to eat some ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch).

So, today I will mail out my packages and hope that I get a good rating. Oh, the drama of it all.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NYC Craft Fair

I was just asked to replace a late cancellation at this craft fair. I don't know why I agreed--maybe because it was a good cause. I don't have a lot of product to bring but I have five days to get things ready. Plus, I will be taking invoices so I can take orders. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Paper Friday--Reds

More of my paper adventures in Japan. This week was dedicated to the Red Drawer. Next week, animal prints.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Got Nothin' for Ya

Tina (see here) challenges everyone to post 5 personal things about themselves. Following her lead, and since I haven't already posted today, I decided to comply with her wishes. Here are five things that you might not already know about me:
  • I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches (chunky peanut butter with sliced bananas on wheat bread).
  • I love to swim. I try to swim 5 days a week at the pool.
  • I love Frito Lay Bean dip. Unfortunately, I can't get it here in NYC. I tried to take some with me on a plane and was detained at the security check in because I wouldn't throw it away. I ate the whole can in front of them to prove that it wasn't a security threat (and then farted all the way through the metal detector--just for them).
  • I am addicted to creative channels on TV (Bravo, HGTV, Food Network).
  • I love Pace picante sauce (original brand--not the chunky brand) in any of the three levels of heat.
  • Old jobs: caterer, full time college professor, Williams Sonoma visual merchandiser, Christmas tree decorator, personal shopper
  • I like scented soap. I live for Copa soaps and artisanal soaps.
  • I have travelled to all continents except Antarctica
  • I used to be in the U.S. Navy
  • I have tried to learn to knit on 4 different occasions.

So there you have it--five (actually ten things you might not know about me).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Christmas Card Swaps

These are some more cards that I designed for this season. As mentioned previously, I always try and develop one card design that uses a different color scheme. The first card uses card stock that is called sorbet. The fuchsia and chartreuse colored card stock (watermelon and lime according to the manufacturers) was used for this card.

The top of the card is silver embossed. The top of the card is them shortened by 1 inch to reveal the chartreuse color of the interior of the card. The interior of the card has been gocco printed in silver ink with the greeting and a snowflake border.

The second card uses bits and pieces that I had in my scrap pile. The snowflake was left over the separates that were designed earlier in the week.

The first card represents why I purchased a Gocco printer. I wanted to combine screen printing and card making techniques to meld a new synthesis of handmade cards.

The top of the card showing the interior reveal

The interior of the card.

A card made up of leftover bits and pieces.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Card Swap

I think that I am addicted to swap-bot but it forces me to get an advanced jump on my Christmas card designs.

Here are a couple of the cards that I sent out.

The first card is a based on a series of cutouts that I had done by a friend in Hong Kong. I am always interesed in how other cultures view Christmas. The inside of the card is a printed mulberry paper with silver and gold flecks. The back of the card has my new hanko and my label.

The second card is based on an embossed velvet paper. I take some paper backed velvet and emboss it with a iron. Every season, I always develop an alternate colored card. My swap partner loved purple and snowmen. So this card is a multi-matted card using the embossed velvet and the snowman image.

Front of cutout card

Inside of cutout card

Back of cutout card (hanko and label)

Velvet embossed card (embiggen to see details)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Paper Fridays

The following papers were purchased during my last trip to Japan. Enjoy.